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Weekend Ticket: Eleventh Moon Storytelling is Saturday

NATCHEZ — During harsh winters when there was little work to be done, native American tribes would tell stories to pass the time and teach valuable life lessons to their youngsters, said Becky Anderson, historian at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

Anderson said the Grand Village has kept this centuries-old tradition alive for at least 35 years during the annual Eleventh Moon Storytelling, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the village grounds on Jeff Davis Boulevard.

“The name is based on the Natchez 13 moon calendar and we are in its 11th moon, which is called the Cold Meal moon,” Anderson said, adding the Grand Village plans to keep it’s attendees warm during story time with a campfire and warm refreshments.

The storytelling is free and open to the public and is recommended for children 8 years old and older, she said.

Children are each given a telescope to view the constellations referred to in the stories told by local storytellers, who will be sharing tales passed down by the Cherokee, Shawnee, Dakota and Tewa tribes.

“These are unusual types of stories,” Anderson said. “We offer a look into the constellations from a Native American point of view instead of the Greek mythological standpoint we are used to. I think people enjoy it because it’s our nature to be curious. It’s nice to know what other people’s theories were and, in some cases, still are.”